A sea full of trash

A sea full of trash

An endless ocean colored in thousand shades of blue and turquoise, endless beaches made of pure, soft white sand, lush green palms softly waving in a pleasant breeze – this is what most of us have in their minds when they hear the term of >South Sea< or >South Sea Island<.

The truth, however, is already completely different! (see photo)


The ‘sand’ beaches worldwide today contain almost as much plastic particles as they contain grains of sand, but a lot more plastic is floating on the surface of the ocean and beneath. These floating plastic particles are a great peril for those sea bird species that search for their food on the ocean’s surface, taking everything they find floating in the water.

For example, of the 1.5 million Laysan Albatrosses that inhabit the Midway atoll, nearly all are found to have plastic in their digestive system.


The photograph below shows a (typical) beach on the uninhabited island of Laysan in the northwestern part of the Hawaiian island chain.



[1] Chris Jordan: Midway: Message from the Gyre. In: The New York Review of Books, 11. November 2009



Photo: Kim Starr & Forest Starr; by courtesy of Kim Starr & Forest Starr



edited: 21.09.2016

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